Sales of midsized MPVs in Europe are on track to a fourth consecutive and their largest annual decline, starting 2019 with 27% fewer deliveries than in the first quarter of 2018. Just under 128.000 midsized MPVs were sold and delivered in these three months as only three nameplates managed to improve their sales on last year. Besides the competition from crossovers, it appears some potential MPV buyers are also cross shopping with van-based MPVs like the new Citroën Berlingo and Peugeot Rifter as these balance their lower refinement with a lower price and more practicality. The fact that Opel/Vauxhall is not replacing the Zafira but giving its new van that same name instead is another indication of this trend. After ceding its top spot to the Renault Scenic in 2018, the Volkswagen Touran is back on top of the ranking in 2019, even though both models are down by exactly the same percentage in Q1, at -21%. That means both also improve their share of the segment significantly, while their nearest rivals from the last few years tumble hard. The Citroën C4 Picasso (now renamed C4 Spacetourer) loses 42% of its volume as the former segment leader (2014 and 2015) is down into 5th place. And with the arrival of the brand’s first compact crossover C5 Aircross, the bleeding isn’t yet over for the C4 Picasso. In fact, production of the 5-seater version will end and only the 7-seater Grand version will continue to be sold, as the brand doesn’t yet offer a 7-seat crossover.
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The BMW 2-series Active and Gran Tourer lose slightly faster as the overall segment at -29%, helped by the 225xe plug-in hybrid version which has a take rate of about 20%. But with the BMW in fourth place, that means there’s a new player on the podium: the third generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class adds 5% to its volume of last year and jumps four places to #3. The addition of a 7-seater version will only help the model improve further. Below the top-5, the Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan loses 15% of its sales but therefore adds almost 2 percentage points to its share of the segment, which means Volkswagen now holds 26,7% of the midsized MPV class in Europe with its two nameplates. The Ford C-Max is due to be killed and its 39% loss shouldn’t be surprising. The big winner in the segment is the BMW i3 with a gain of 42% to enter the top-8 as it almost doubles its share to 6,4%. The Dacia Lodgy continues to outperform the segment and grow its share, although it’s still at just 6% of a fast declining class. The Toyota Prius+ is the third nameplate to improve at +29% after already growing in the last two years without any significant updates to the model.
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